Gabe has a natural affinity for monkeys.
(Gabe at 2 years old climbing the apple tree)
Things have been a bit busy here, what with Ella's birth and ensuing drama, the car accident, as well as the other odd random disasters that are part of our daily life. So, when I went to the Dollar Tree and found Monkey themed napkins, plates, cups, party favors, and more, you might understand why I was so excited. Dollar Tree patrons were no doubt confused why some strange woman was weeping in the middle of the party aisle, but if you've ever been a hormonally confused, sleep-deprived, over-stressed mother of young children you will perfectly understand.
Peter and Boo helped me decorate, and for a table cloth we got a cheap yellow plastic cover (courtesy of Dollar Tree, of course) and set the table with our stylish tableware.
I couldn't be more thrilled with how well his cake turned out, and how easy it was to make! I got the idea from Pinterest. The night before the party, I just made a boxed cake mix in two round cake pans and frosted them with chocolate frosting. Letting the frosting harden in the fridge is crucial, because you can't add the "face" if the darker chocolate color isn't stable.
I'm a bit OCD about balanced proportions, so instead of free-handing the face, I first placed small cups on the cake and traced them to create the eye part of the face, and then traced the rest of the face from that. Once my outline was indented into the chocolate, and mixed white frosting with a bit of the chocolate to make the light brown color and then gently spread it with a spoon.
I didn't feel like baking another bit of cake for the ears, so I just bought a box of small Entenmann's donuts and used those. I stacked two donuts on top of each other and cut off part of the circle so that they were more like half-circles. I smooshed them into the sides of the cake and frosted them on. It worked perfectly (and I discovered that Entenmann's donuts are delicious and highly dangerous to one's self-control.)
Gabe's favorite color is yellow, so we tried to use as many yellow things as possible, including using yellow water balloons which we purchased from the Dollar Tree as well. I can say from experience that it takes 45 minutes to fill 100 water balloons, and 30 seconds to pop them.
We ate the cake and ice cream first, because my plan was to then let the kids get all wet and over-excited and afterward send them home with their parents.
(Peter's pouting because I wouldn't let him eat all the cake and ice cream he wanted.)
Our slightly larger pool isn't set up yet, but the kids seemed to have a good time splashing in the tiny pool anyway.
One of the party favors I passed out was a small water pistol, which the boys utilized by immediately shooting their dads.
Lots of fun!